ENN receives LNG cargo at China's first major private import terminal

SINGAPORE, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Chinese gas distributor ENN has received its maiden cargo for the country’s first major privately-owned liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, Thomson Reuters Eikon shiptracking data showed.

The LNG tanker ‘Stena Blue Sky’ arrived at Zhoushan port on Tuesday after loading the cargo at Qatar’s Ras Laffan LNG terminal on July 22, the data showed.

ENN could not immediately be reached for comment on the matter.

The company’s Zhoushan terminal in China’s eastern Zhejiang region, with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per year, was expected to start operations in July.

ENN has signed long-term deals including sales and purchase agreements with Chevron Corp and Australia’s Origin Energy and also has an agreement to buy LNG from Total . The deals total about 1.5 million tonnes per year of LNG.

China overtook South Korea as the world’s second-largest LNG importer in 2017 with imports of 38 million tonnes, 46 percent higher than the year before. The imports soared after the government ordered millions of homes to switch to natural gas and electric heating from coal to counter rising air pollution.

To meet the higher demand and to reduce their dependence on supply from state-owned companies, Chinese companies are building their own LNG terminals to import the fuel directly. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Sunil Nair)